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The Looking Glass Wars (Looking Glass Wars #1)

( 528 )

Overview

You know the myth...

A little girl named Alice tumbled down a rabbit hole and proceeded to have a charming adventure in the delightful, made-up world of Wonderland...

Now discover the truth... Wonderland Exists!

Alyss Heart, heir to the Wonderland throne, was forced to flee through the Pool of Tears after a bloody palace coup staged by the murderous Redd. Lost and alone in Victorian London, Alyss is befriended...

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The Looking Glass Wars (Looking Glass Wars #1)

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Overview

You know the myth...

A little girl named Alice tumbled down a rabbit hole and proceeded to have a charming adventure in the delightful, made-up world of Wonderland...

Now discover the truth... Wonderland Exists!

Alyss Heart, heir to the Wonderland throne, was forced to flee through the Pool of Tears after a bloody palace coup staged by the murderous Redd. Lost and alone in Victorian London, Alyss is befriended by an aspiring author to whom she tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life only to see it published as the nonsensical Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Alyss had trusted Lewis Carroll to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere would find her and bring her home. But Carroll had gotten it all wrong. He even misspelled her name! If not for royal bodyguard Hatter Madigan's nonstop search to locate the lost princess, Alyss may have become just another society woman sipping tea in a too-tight corset instead of returning to Wonderland to fight Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.

Meet the heroic, passionate, monstrous, vengeful denizens of this parallel world as they battle each other with AD-52's and orb generators, navigate the Crystal Continuum, bet on jabberwock fights and travel across the Chessboard Desert.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Alyss Heart can't stand that "master of fantasy" bunk; she knows that Lewis Carroll was nothing more than an incompetent reporter. After she generously shared her Wonderland experiences with this fledgling author, he totally botched the retelling, even mangling her name. Alyss, however, refuses to merely grouse; she and royal bodyguard Hatter Madigan decide to make another emergency excursion down the rabbit hole, opening our eyes to parallel realms that prim Rev. Dodgson never imagined. A refreshing take on a Victorian classic.
Publishers Weekly
Narrator Doyle brings to life this fanciful re-imagining of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The premise has young Alyss Hart, heiress to the Wonderland throne, chased from the "queendom" in a bloody coup mounted by her despotic Aunt Redd. Alyss escapes through a magical pool to Victorian London. There, no one will listen to her story except for Charles Dodgson (aka Carroll) who publishes his own take. A theater-trained actor, Doyle artfully animates a large and diverse cast of fantasy and real-life characters. He's especially menacing as the murderous Aunt Redd, each high-pitched syllable dripping with malice. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Doyle quietly captures the resignation in Alyss's tender voice as she grows older in exile. For the duty-driven royal bodyguard Hatter Madigan, he colors his delivery with a determined stoicism as he seeks his missing charge. Doyle also navigates the social echelons of 19th-century England-from street urchins to palace guards to princes. In some exchanges, the vocal residue of one character bleeds into the voice of another. But that is a minor quibble. Doyle juggles an eclectic and other-worldly ensemble, never letting anything hit the ground. Ages 9-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA - Amy Sisson
Alyss Heart, seven-year-old heir to Wonderland, flees from her traitorous Aunt Redd through the Pool of Tears and ends up in London. After weeks begging and stealing with a band of street urchins, Alyss is sent to an orphanage and subsequently adopted by the Liddells. The Reverend Dodgson alone appears to believe her story, but Alyss is devastated when his famous book changes the details, including her name. She vows to put Wonderland behind her, but years later, when she is about to marry Prince Leopold, her Wonderland heritage returns dramatically. The clever premise, the superior production values, and the publisher's ambitious marketing plans will no doubt ensure success at least on par with that of other recent juvenile fantasies. This book is enjoyable, but it could have been more. Admittedly the stated target audience is ten and up, but some details, such as jollyjellies and tarty tarts, are just too cute. Redd is so one-dimensional that her own propaganda says she thrives on deceit and violence, and Alyss's test in the Looking Glass Maze seems particularly derivative, not of Carroll's original but of Star Wars, of all things. The only significant emotional note is brief poignancy as Alyss deliberately suppresses her memories. Consequently this book does not compare favorably, for instance, to Herbie Brennan's The Faerie Wars Chronicles, which also deal with deposed child rulers and portals between worlds but with greater sophistication and meaning.
KLIATT
Beddor's take on Alice in Wonderland debuts in the US two years after both horrifying and delighting readers in the United Kingdom. According to Beddor's premise, Alice Liddell was really Alyss, Princess of Wonderland, deposed by her wicked Aunt Redd. She escapes the coup that took the lives of her parents through the Pool of Tears, which deposits her in Victorian London. She is adopted by the Liddell family, meets Charles Dodgson and tells him her story, but he gets it all wrong when he writes it down in a book. Alyss despairs of anyone believing her and decides to put her memories behind her, but just as she is about to marry, she is drawn back to Wonderland and into the struggle to establish her as the rightful queen. This book is definitely not for Lewis Carroll purists. It is plot-driven and packed with vividly described action, especially in the battles between Redd's forces and the Alyssians. There are plenty of battles, violent ones, although violence is never glorified, particularly violence committed for its own sake. I did wince at the labeling of "good" imagination as White Imagination and "bad" imagination as Black Imagination. The characters are less developed, and attempts to add dimensional traits never fully hit the mark. The traits are not well integrated into the characters and are not always convincing. Also, an author's note detailing what was true about the real Alice and Lewis Carroll would have been nice. Still, the book is readable and appealing, and it is a good choice for reluctant readers. KLIATT Codes: JS--Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2006, Penguin, Dial, 358p. illus., $17.99.. Ages 12 to 18.
—Donna Scanlon
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up
Frank Beddor's clever novel (Dial, 2006) puts Lewis Carroll's heroine—along with her loony, puzzle-riddled world—into a new and wholly satisfying frame. In this version, most of Alyss Heart's family and friends are ruthlessly killed by her evil Aunt Redd. Alyss escapes through the Pool of Tears, which is actually a portal between worlds, and winds up in Victorian England and is renamed Alice. At first, the child tries to tell ordinary humans about her world and the power imagination actually effects in Wonderlandia, but they gently chide her for telling stories. She believes that she's found a sympathetic ear in a young Oxford don who is a friend of her adopted family, but he turns her story into the travesty we all know as "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." Meanwhile, Hatter Madigan, a member of Wonderlandia's Millinery, who also escaped through the Pool, searches for Alyss across continents and time, until he finds her more than a dozen years later. Back home in Wonderlandia, the few who have escaped evil Redd's soldiers plot to retake the land. Gerard Doyle reads with asperity and speaks the copious puns without any added slyness. Fans of Carroll's stories will flock to this and those who have managed to miss that less violent classic can get to it while waiting for the next volume in this exciting and humorous trilogy.
—Francisca GoldsmithCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Alice in Wonderland gets an update in this first installment of a planned trilogy. Princess Alyss, driven out of her Wonderland kingdom by her evil aunt, Redd, suffers years of exile in Victorian England before her dedicated bodyguard, Hatter Madigan, finds her. Dragged back to the home she feared she had only imagined, it is now up to Alyss to rally her troops, drive out the usurper and claim her throne. Can she survive assassination attempts by the vicious Cat with nine lives, a spy amongst her faithful followers, a trek across the Chessboard Desert to Redd's fortress at Mount Isolation and a duel of White vs. Black Imagination? Penned by the producer of There's Something About Mary, it's clear that this version will make the transition to the big screen, as the book reads more like a screenplay than a novel. The action moves swiftly from one complex scene to the next; there is minimal character development and opportunities for rich detail are tossed away all too often in favor of simply moving the story forward. One can only hope it translates well to the screen. (Fantasy. 12-15)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803731530
  • Publisher: Dial
  • Publication date: 9/26/2006
  • Series: Looking Glass Wars Series , #1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 275,101
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 1010L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank Beddor is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Looking Glass Wars, the young-adult novel that first introduced young readers to the true story of Alyss. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

THE QUEENDOM had been enjoying a tentative peace ever since the time, twelve years earlier, when unbridled bloodshed spattered the doorstep of every Wonderlander. The civil war hadn't been the longest in all of recorded history, but no doubt it was one of the bloodiest. Those who had entered a little too quickly into the carnage and destruction had trouble adapting to life during peacetime. When hostilities ceased, they ran amok on the streets of Wonderland's capital city, looting and pillaging Wondertropolis until Queen Genevieve had them rounded up and shipped off to the Crystal Mines—a spiderweb-like network of tunnels carved in a far-off mountainside, where those unwilling to abide by the laws of decent society lived in windowless dormitories and labored to excavate crystal from the unforgiving mountain. Even after these people were taken off the streets, the peace that settled on Wonderland was nothing like that which had existed before the war. A third of Wondertropolis' quartz-like buildings had to be rebuilt. The smooth turquoise amphitheater had suffered damage in an air raid, as had the public works towers and spires sporting fiery, reflective pyrite skin. But the scars of war are not always visible. Although Queen Genevieve ruled her queendom judiciously, with care for the well-being of her people, the monarchy had forever been weakened. The coalition of Diamond, Club, and Spade dynasties that made up Parliament were falling apart. The matriarchs of the families were jealous of Genevieve's power. Each thought she could rule Wonderland better then the queen. Each watched and waited for an opportunity to wrest control from her, keeping a none-too-friendly eye on the other families in case they happened to make a move first.

Entertaining no thoughts of war, Princess Alyss Heart stood on the balcony of Heart Palace with her mother, Queen Genevieve. The city was in the midst of a jubilant gala. From the Everlasting Forest to the Valley of Mushrooms, Wonderlanders had come to celebrate the seventh birthday of their future queen, who, as it happened, was bored out of her wits. Alyss knew she could do a lot worse than be Queen of Wonderland, but even a future monarch doesn't always want to do what she is supposed to do—like site through hours of pageantry. She would rather have hidden with her friend Dodge in one of the palace towers, dropping jollyjellies from an open window and watching them splat on the guards below. Dodge wouldn't like the jollyjelly bit—guardsmen deserved better treatment, he'd say—but that would only make it more fun.

Where was Dodge anyway? She hadn't seen him all morning, and it wasn't nice to avoid the birthday girl on her birthday. She searched for him among the Wonderlanders gathered to watch the Inventors' Parade on the cobbled lane below. No sign of him. He was probably off doing something fun; whatever it was had to be more fun than being stuck here, forced to watch Wonderlanders show off their silly contraptions. Bibwit Harte, the royal tutor, had explained to her that most of Wonderland took pride in the Inventors' Parade, the one time every year when citizens flaunted their skills and ingenuity before the queen. If Genevieve saw something in the parade that she thought particularly good, she would send it into the Heart Crystal—a thirty-three-foot-tall, fifty-two-foot-wide shimmering crystal on the palace grounds, the power source for all creation. Whatever passed into the crystal went out into the universe to inspire imaginations in other worlds. If a Wonderlander bounced in front of Queen Genevieve on a spring-operated stick with handlebars and footrests and she passed this curious invention into the crystal, before long, in one civilization or another, a pogo stick would be invented.

Still, Alyss wondered, what was the big deal? Having to stand here until her feet hurt—it was punishment.

"I wish Father was here."

"He's due back form Boarderland at any moment," said Queen Genevieve. "But since the rest of Wonderland is here, I suggest you try to enjoy yourself for their sake. That's interesting, don't you think?"

They watched as a man floated down from the sky with what looked like a hollow mushroom cap strapped to his back.

"It's pretty good, I suppose," said Alyss, " but it'd be better if it were furry."

And with that, the mushroom contraption was suddenly covered with fur, its inventor falling to the ground with a thump.

Queen Genevieve frowned.

"He's late," Alyss said. "He promised he'd be here. I don't understand why he had to make a trip so close to my birthday."

There were reasons, as the queen well knew. Intelligence had indicated that they may have already waited too long. Unconfirmed reports suggested Redd was growing more powerful, outfitting her troops for an attack, and Genevieve was no longer sure that her military could provide adequate defense. She was as keen as Alyss for King Nolan's return, but she had determined to enjoy the day's festivities.

"Ooh, look at that," she said, pointing at a woman wiggling as she walked so as to keep a large hoop swinging round and round her waist." That looks diverting."

"It'd be more fun if it had fountains of water coming out of it," Alyss said, and immediately the hoop was spurting water from tiny holes all along its surface, the surprised inventor still wiggling to keep it swinging round and round.

"Birthday or not, Alyss," Queen Genevieve said, "I don't think it's nice to show off."

The fur on the first-ever parachute vanished. The fountains of water on the newly invented hula hoop dried up. The power of Alyss' imagination had made them appear and disappear. Imagination was an important part of life in Wonderland, and Alyss had the most powerful imagination ever seen in a seven year-old Wonderlander. But as with any formidable talent, Alyss' imagination could be used for good or ill, and the queen saw mild reasons for concern. Hardly one revolution of the Thurmite moon had passed since Alyss' last incident: Impatient with young Jack of Diamonds for some childish indiscretion, she's imagined his trousers filled with slick, squiggling gwormmies. Jack of Diamonds had said he "felt something funny," looked down, and saw that his trousers were moving, alive. He'd been having nightmares ever since. Alyss claimed not to have done it on purpose, which may or may not have been true, Genevieve couldn't tell. Alyss didn't yet have full control of her imaginative powers, but the girl would say anything to get out of trouble.

"You will be the strongest queen yet," she told her daughter. "Your imagination will be the crowning achievement of the land. But Alyss, you must work hard to develop it according to the guiding principles of the Heart dynasty—love, justice, and duty to the people. An undisciplined imagination is worse than no imagination at all. It can do more harm. Remember what happened to your aunt Redd."

"I know," Alyss said sulkily. She had never met her aunt Redd, but she'd heard storied about the woman for as long as she could remember. She didn't bother trying to understand it all; it was history—boring boring boring. But she knew that to be like her aunt Redd wasn't good.

"Now that's enough lecturing for one princess' birthday," Queen Genevieve said. She clapped her hands and the parachute and hula hoop passed into the Heart Crystal, much to the joy of their inventors.

An empty pair of King Nolan's boots floated out from behind the balcony door and began to dance in front of the brooding princess.

Queen Genevieve, watching yet another extraordinary display of her daughter's imagination, said, "Alyss."

Something in her tone made the girl stop what she was doing. The boots thudded to the ground, still.

"It's all in your head," the queen sighed. "Remember that, love. Whatever happens, it's all in your head."

It was both a warning and an expression of hope: Queen Genevieve, aware of the dark forces at work somewhere in the wastes of the Chessboard Desert, knew that joy and happiness didn't last forever in Wonderland; sooner or later the queendom would come under attack, and it would require all of Alyss' imaginative powers—and then some—to ensure its survival.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 528 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(340)

4 Star

(113)

3 Star

(54)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(12)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 528 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 15, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I couldn't put it down!!!

    Personally, I've always been a little freaked out by Alice in Wonderland. But with the new movie coming out, I thought I would read something similar. That's when I came across this book! While it is like the original in lots of ways, it's completely and totally different, which makes it interesting. Supposedly, the story Lewis Carroll told was all wrong. Therefore it's Beddor's job to set the record strait. Wonderland isn't as wacky as we thought it was. In fact, it lots of ways, the Wonderlanders are even more sophisticated than humans. Unfortunately a civil war has broke out in Wonderland, and it seems family is killing family. I guess the reason why I liked this book so much was because it was out of the box. It told a different version of Alice in Wonderland but still told a fantastical story with interesting characters. Hope you give it a try!

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Let your imagination run wild!

    I recently found this re-imagined version of "Alice in Wonderland" on the shelves of a local bookstore. I bought it on a whim, because I'd recently reread the Carroll version. It took me several weeks to actually pick up the book and begin it. Once I did, I couldn't put it down. I found myself in the depths of imagination. It's cleverly reconfigured the classic tale in a way I would never have thought.
    Alyss Heart is a care-free seven year old, when all she's ever known is ripped from her. Her ruthless Aunt Redd has come to reclaim her throne as ruler of Wonderland. In the process Alyss' parents are killed by Redd, and Alyss escapes with her bodyguard Hatter Madigan through the Pool of Tears into our world. Alyss and Hatter are seperated in the Pool of Tears. Hatter spends many years criss-crossing the globe in search of his lost princess. His hopes in finding her, so they can return to Wonderland and Alyss can reclaim her place as Queen of Wonderland.
    The re-imagining of Carroll's classic characters is intriguing and imaginative. The Cat, is Redd's assassin who can morph from a human bodied cat into an innocent looking kitten. The caterpillars are oracles. Hatter, the insanely mad tea party throwing character, instead is a blade wielding bodyguard for the royal family.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, along with it's sequel "Seeing Redd" ... and can't wait for the third in the trilogy "ArchEnemy" to be released. Frank Beddor has unleashed his imagination and shared it with us. I would recommend these books to anyone who loved the original version and loves fantasy. The cover art, along with the artwork inside the books is also wickedly amazing. Enjoyed it all!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Looking Glass Wars Book #1

    If you like Alice in Wonderland this is an amazing read. It takes an alternate look at the original Alice in Wonderland. A kind of "What if?" book. If Wonderland really did exsist parallel to our world. It's creative and pulls you in. Great book for young adults and adults. It was amazingly easy to read, and so hard to put down.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A fun take on a classic story

    Beddor's interpretation of Wonderland is an amazing world. He parallels our reality with the events in Wonderland, our industrial revolutions with their creations, our biggest wars with the civil war between the Hearts. Beddor really made 'the Red Queen' a true evil villain, and had an insightful take on the Mad Hatter. I only just completed reading the first in the trilogy, but I'm excited to get to the next two books. There is also a series following Hatter Madigan, and his adventures trying to find Alice once she disappears into Victorian England. Beyond being an enticing story, the artwork in both the Looking Glass Wars and the Hatter's stories is beautiful, and truly adds to the emotion of the story.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2007

    A.W.E.S.O.M.E!!!!!

    I love it!!!!!!! Such a great twist on a classic fairytale. I will read it again and again!!!!!

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    BORING

    It had confusingwords and it is really boring.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Think you knew the tale of Alice? Think again!

    When reading this book it gets you hooked from the very first line and your never going to want to put it down until you've reached the end! This book has suspense, action, adventure, romance, anything genre that basically comes to mind! You will seriously be captivated by it till you reach the thrilling climax! Would recommend to THE WHOLE WORLD! This book is an A++, A 100 out of 10, its by far the best book I have ever read ((and believe me i've read many many MANY books)). Welcome to the REAL wonderland! Meet the REAL Alyss! =D

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2014

    HORRIBLE

    This book is the most boring i have ever read !!!!! When i started reading this book there was soooooooo much hype and i was shocked at how slow and boring it was not a good read at all p.s. if you have any comments or agree with me reply to Shanaynay

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2014

    to awkwardly written.

    to awkwardly written.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A tad cheesy, somewhat predictable but a whole lot of fun!

    I'm always down for updated takes on classic fairy tales, especially when they involve serious action and violence. The Looking Glass Wars is chalk full of potential, fusing the Alice in Wonderland we know with the historical Alice Liddell. Beddar takes the Wonderlandian characters with which we're familiar and tells their real story, because, apparently, Carroll got it all wrong. But so did Beddar. While I think the bare bones of the story were really clever, overall, the story was a bit childish for my liking. I sort of expected the silliness, because c'mon, it's Wonderland, but not to that degree. The book is highly imaginative so Beddar could've afforded to go a bit more futuristic with his tale. A steam-punk take on Alice would've been really appropriate here. The Looking Glass Wars is a tad too long, cheesy and somewhat predictable but it's undoubtedly fun. The violence and lessons learned here is reminiscent of Harry Potter, only lacking that special something. Beddar does a lot of telling and not enough showing. It's not that this was a bad book, per say, it just wasn't my cup of tea and I'd recommend it to a much younger crowd.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2013

    Awesome

    This book is basically the greatest thing that ever happened. I fell in love with the characters, the plot was smashingly imaginative, and it was very well-written. I don't really think I can explain to you how wonderful this book is.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    Amazing

    This book is amazing. My husband sent it to me while in basic and i would always read a chapter before bed. Since he does not live with me at my station of duty I decided to get it for the nook.

    Nook issue - starting on page 161 and forward parts of pages are missing.

    Thankfully for the first book its just a refresher but im sure would be annoying for any coming upon it for the first time. Hopefully they get this fixed soon.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    Its okay.

    I likedvthis book at the beginning but then it got really boring and predictable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2012

    Great take on the stories of Alice and her wonderland

    I loved this story - If you love Alice in Wonderland, you will love this book and the others in he series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2012

    Good lead in but rushed at the end

    Overall a good read and an imaginative retelling of the story. The author does a good job of hooking you in and painting a lovely picture of wonderland for you. However, the last half of the book feels incredibly rushed. Between complete character personality makeovers, bouncing around the landscape with no sense of travel time, and viewed from the points of several characters, you find yourself saying "Yeah right..." -- I truly believe that an extra hundred pages dedicated to the whirlwind of the second half of the book would have done justice to evoke the WHOLE story the author intended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This was an "eh" read for me. Everyone here seems to t

    This was an "eh" read for me. Everyone here seems to think it was amazing though... The concepts and twists of wonderland and its charcters in this story were great and very interesting. But reading the book, I felt everything about it was rushed. I don't know, something in this book just didn't keep me satisfied. So I ended up returning. A bit disappointed...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2012

    Amazing!

    I am a die-hard Alice in Wonderland fan. Anything and everything Alice, but when I purchased the 3 books in this series I was a skeptic because of the author. I am very judgemental and extremely hard to please most of the time but these books were the best I have ever read! These are instant classics! They brought out so much emotion! Heck if there were 6 stars these books would have gotten them from me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Still Not Sure How I Feel About This Book...

    The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor is an interesting take on the Alice in Wonderland story. This interpretation contends that Alyss Heart, Princess of Wonderland, is the Alice of the Lewis Caroll story. When her evil Aunt Redd attacks and kills her parents, Alyss flees to the outside world. Separated from her escort and bodyguard, Hatter Madigan, Alyss finds herself an orphan in London who is eventually adopted by The Liddells. Her adoptive family dismisses Alyss' stories of her life in Wonderland as flights of fantasy. She gives up her memories of Wonderland when a family friend publishes her stories under the pen name Lewis Carroll. Alyss is hurt and angry because she feels her life has been trivialized and turned into a fairy tale. She becomes determined to be the ideal daughter and truly becomes Alice Liddell. She is set to marry Prince Leopold when a figure from her past arrives and brings her back to the ruins of the Wonderland where she grew up. Redd has destroyed the city and all those who support White Imagination, that of the former King and Queen. She and her followers practice Black Imagination, which is destructive and evil. In order to restore Wonderland to the peaceful land of her childhood, Alyss must learn to hone her imaginative skills and defeat her aunt.

    This book took a long time for me to read. I kept getting hung up comparing it to the original story. I was also distracted by the semblance to the real life story of Alice Liddell and the fabricated parts created for the character of Alice Liddell. In fact, at one point, I put the book down and left it for over a month. I read quite a few other books before I came back to finish it. However, I did come back to finish it. I enjoyed the adventure of the story, and the change and development of Alyss' character. It makes an interesting statement about how much is lost when imagination is discouraged. It furthers the statement with the power Alyss has once she begins to hone her imagination as an adult. The characters were interesting, particularly Alyss' childhood friend Dodge, but many of them were weakened by being based on characters in the original story. For example, Hatter Madigan may have appeared as a stronger hero figure if I weren't thinking of him as the Mad Hatter.

    I can't even decide if I liked this story or not. I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed it more if it hadn't been based on Lewis Carroll's Alice. Of course, being based on the famous work is part of what drew me to the book in the first place. I'll say this--The Looking Glass Wars is an interesting adventure filled with some familiar characters in a familiar land. Will I read the sequel, Seeing Redd: The Looking Glass Wars, Book Two? Probably, if I come across it on a book exchange site, but I won't be paying to download it.

    Follow my reviews at readerbarbara dot blogspot dot com

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2010

    Refreshing twist on Alice in Wonderland

    I've never been a fan of Alice in Wonderland. The original Disney film and other adaptations of the story have always given me the impression that the story really had no point at all. It was bizarre. The Looking Glass Wars calmed down the strangeness of the world that Lewis Carroll created and made it seem less like a opium induced dream and more like a fantasy land that has real problems just like our own world. The characters are complex and easy to relate to, the plot keeps you guessing, and the humor of the story caught me offguard. It wasn't a challenging read by any means, but it was very enjoyable. I'm actually quite sad that this series is only 3 books long because I feel like there could be so much more to tell.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Sure..

    Yeah I just couldnt get into it, I mean sure Its an all new alice in wonderland,I get it..But umm yeah this book really let me down...I got so bored with it, and The only rason i even finished it was because i owed my teahcer a book report,on this terribly boring,book.And the way it was written was just sooo Blah.No excitement what so ever..so dont waste your time..really

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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